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Argentina training to combat Iceland's 6 cm average height advantage
From the Web Desk, 14/06/2018, New Delhi

 Argentina's World Cup squad has some of the best players on the planet, but they'll be at a disadvantage in one area in their Group D opener against Iceland: height.

In theory, two-time World Cup champion Argentina really shouldn't be fearful of facing Iceland, who are making their first appearance at the tournament. But there is a bit of worry in the Argentina camp about giving up around 6 centimetres (two inches) to their Iceland counterparts.

Icelandic footballers are the tallest at the World Cup in Russia, with an average height of 1.85 metres (over 6 feet), making them especially strong in aerial duels in defence and attack. Argentina, meanwhile, are among the shortest teams at the tournament at 1.79 metres (just over 5-feet-10 inches).

It's a weapon Iceland can potentially use to counter the individual brilliance of Lionel Messi and other players when the two teams face each other Saturday, and Albiceleste manager Jorge Sampaoli has put special emphasis on height during tactical work at the team's training center in the Moscow suburb of Bronnitsy.

"It's going to be a very tough match," goalkeeper Willy Caballero said on Wednesday. "They defend well as a group, with two very tight lines. It will be difficult to get in through the middle. We'll have to use the wings."



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